Donald P. Goodman III
When young it covers nothing, shades itself and nothing else; it's small and has not grown; it cannot yet protect what is not there; it cannot shade the oaks that it has sown.
But centuries pass by, and it grows high; it now protects what lives beneath its limbs; it spreads its branches out and shades the land, protecting it from nature's deadly whims.
And as the cent'ries pass, it grows so great that it can sow itself, and all its seed grows up beside it, showing forth the leaves and colors of its father, true in deed.
But only over centuries can rings surround and build that oak to mighty height and breadth; and only centuries can yield more oaks to mimic their great father's might.
For time not only heals all wounds; no, time matures and strengthens as the ages pass; as we grow old and weary, that great oak will merely greater breadth and shade amass.
And youth is fickle, falling at each wind; young saplings bend, and all too often break; with age comes strength and shelter from the storm; deep roots alone strong trunk and branches make.
So cherish that which ages took to make; to build its equal ages more will take.